You've Gotta Have Faith

This story is so riddled with idiocy, I almost don’t even know where to begin.
President Bush said yesterday that he doesn't "see how you can be president without a relationship with the Lord," but that he is always mindful to protect the right of others to worship or not worship.
If a person is religious, s/he can’t imagine being a teacher or a garbage man or a dominatrix without the Lord, either. But being religious is not intrinsic to your job, Mr. President, so stop acting like it is. Unless one is a preacher, one is equally as qualified to do one’s job with or without the Lord; it’s simply a personal preference.
Mr. Bush told editors and reporters of The Washington Times yesterday in an interview in the Oval Office that many in the public misunderstand the role of faith in his life and his view of the proper relationship between religion and the government.
Gee, I wonder why that could be. Perhaps it’s because of the constant implication that he sees no boundary between religion and the government, despite his claims to the contrary. It’s a little disconcerting to atheists to hear their president suggest that they are automatically unfit for his office simply by virtue of their lack of a relationship with the Lord.
"I think people attack me because they are fearful that I will then say that you're not equally as patriotic if you're not a religious person," Mr. Bush said. "I've never said that. I've never acted like that. I think that's just the way it is.”
Aside from being another exemplary example of Bush’s inimitable ability to defy the rules of logic, this statement is beautiful in its perfect encapsulation of the Right’s continual deflection of responsibility for their intolerant little judgments of anyone who isn’t like them. Even though he would never say that you’re not equally as patriotic if you’re not a religious person, and even though he would never act like you’re not equally as patriotic if you’re not a religious person, you might as well get used to the idea, because that’s just the way it is. But he didn’t say it.
The president said there is no reason to fear his conspicuous practice of his Methodist faith or his approval of religious expression in the public square.
Well, okay, except why should I believe him when he’s obviously an inveterate liar? Bush doesn’t even attend church; so much for the conspicuous practice of his faith. The guiding principles of Christianity also appear absent in his decision-making—peaceful, tolerant, and repentant are not among the words I would use to describe his presidency. His faith seems to serve precious little purpose other than a useful political tool, which in fact gives non-believers grave cause for concern.
"I fully understand that the job of the president is and must always be protecting the great right of people to worship or not worship as they see fit," Mr. Bush said. "That's what distinguishes us from the Taliban.”
I’m glad he cleared that up, actually, because I was beginning to wonder if there was any difference left between us. Although, I’m not sure that protecting the right of people to not worship is of much value, if you punitively restrict their rights to public funding, for example. Allowing me to be an atheist is great and all, but I’m not too keen on the notion that my tax dollars will only go to faith-based groups. I’d like people who do good work without the Lord’s help to get their fair share, too.
"This is a country that is a value-based country," he said. "Whether they voted for you or not, there's a lot of values in this country, for which I'm real proud."
There are indeed a lot of values in this country, some of which are good and some of which aren’t. Some people, for example, value oil over human lives. That’s a value I don’t particularly agree with. Some people, for example, value an insistence on being right over a desire to be good. That’s another value I don’t particularly agree with. There are even people who value the procuring of information over someone’s right not to be tortured. I can’t say I agree with that one, either. Yeah, there are lots of values out there, but the fact that some Americans value freedom of speech, some value war profiteering, and some value fucking the family dog doesn’t really amount to a hill of beans if we celebrate the pooch-pumpers over the First Amendment advocates.
"What we are going to do in the second term is to make sure that the grant money is available for faith communities to bid on, to make sure these faith-based offices are staffed and open," Mr. Bush said. "But the key thing is, is that we do have the capacity to allow faith programs to access enormous sums of social service money, which I think is important."
I don’t even understand what that means—allowing faith communities to bid on grant money. Are they going to have a faith-off? Whoever can deliver the most hallelujahs in under 60 seconds gets the pot of gold? Ultimately, however, that nonsensical gibberish isn’t even important. What’s important is that our president said that everyone has an equal right to practice or not practice religion as they see fit, but if you don’t, you won’t get a dime from him. Performing social services, like the presidency, are not contingent upon a relationship with the Lord, but he just can’t see that, either.

And he’s not saying you’re less patriotic; that’s just the way it is.

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